April 1, 2023

Community News

New Orleans Agenda-Sylvain News Notes Highlights NOLA Royal Family of Music @ Jazz Fest Today
May 6, 2022



Sylvain Music Notes
Friday, May 6, 2022 *********************** For Immediate Release
Making Music and Making a Difference Around the World, NOLA's Royal Family of Music, D'Batiste Fathers & Sons take the Stage at Jezz Fest on Friday, May 6
Congo Square Stage at 12.:20 p.m. at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell
Batiste Fathers and Sons
NEW ORLEANS - The D'Batiste Fathers & Sons with select former members of the famed Batiste Brothers Band will Film on Congo Square Stage at 12.:20 p.m. at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell Friday, May 6th, 2022. Headed by Louisiana Hall of Fame inductee David Batiste (David Batiste and The Gladiators) who was a pioneer of "New Orleans funk", will be joined by sons Damon, Russell, Ryan, and Jamal Batiste; and a new edition in grandson Christopher Prosper Batiste for a mid-day blast of down-home funk and Rhythm 'n Blues.
With approximately 25 members performing professionally, NOLA’s Royal Family of Music”, the Batiste family is heralded as being "Louisiana's largest musical family." Mpume and Nikki Williams, South African powerhouse performers, will be joining NOLA's Royal Family as they perform their phenomenal form of music.
The Batiste’s musical notes are heard around the world on and off the stage. Damon Batiste the founder of NOSACONN, (New Orleans South Africa Connection) has served as a cultural ambassador with a focus on investing in the African Diaspora and BIPOC communities in the U.S. and Africa. In celebration of his award-winning first cousin Jon Batiste, bandmaster for the Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, His Majesty King Makhosoke 11 and her Royal Highness Queen Sekhothali Mabhena of the Amandebele Nation joined Damon Batiste with partners Virtual Nation Builders’ Candice Dawkshas; Brett Bowes, an Executive of Guqula (Zulu word for change) for “The Grammy Party in the Bush”at the Sensational Sunset Safari Lodge in a Game Reserve in South Africa.  The Grammy Party in the Bush was the perfect venue for the business partners to announce a $500 Million Dollar (USD) Music, Film, & Tourism Project.
Batiste Family at the Alunay All Blues Festival
Born one of seven boys to Estella and Jean Batiste from the community of Little Farm (River Ridge, La.), David Batiste, Sr. would one day have fifteen children of his own. Initially a bass drum player in Bunch Village Junior High School, David fell in love with the keys when his father bought the family a piano when he was 13 years old. In 1962 he formed (King) David Batiste and The Gladiators and recorded the tunes "Cut Out" and "6th Ward High Step" in 1964. A year later they would win Harlem's "Amateur Night at the Apollo" in New York. In 1970 David Batiste and The Gladiators had a hit record with "Funky Soul" which would help propelled them to building an international following. David also performed with the Meters as the keyboardist from 1977-1980 and performed on Saturday Night Live in 1977. It was during that time that the Batiste Band was formed, headed by David's younger brother Paul Batiste with Michael and Peter Batiste forming the nucleus of the band.
David Batiste at the Alunay All Blues Festival
David Batiste "Louisiana Music Hall of Fame" and 2021 Cutting Edge Music Influencer of Year and Lifetime Achievement Award from Whitehouse for Arts Education & Community Outreach with Obama Administration would go on to work with such musical greats as Jackie Wilson, David Ruffin, ZZ Hill, Percy Sledge, Cyril Neville, Johnny Adams, Major Lance, Isaac Hayes, Cyril Johnson, Ollie Nightingale, James Carr, Ann Pebles, Ernie Kado, Chris Kenner, King Floyd and others.
In 1982 various members of the family, including Paul, Michael, Peter, David, Damon, and Russell recorded the "FREEZE" album under the name of The Batiste Brothers Band. The group would also go on to record "Spice" and the "New Orleans Music" CD and a number of other singles until 1989 under Paul's company Dynasty and Artang Records.
The Batiste family has appeared across the United States as well as in South Africa, Mexico, Europe and Japan.
Russell Batiste, Jr
Russell Batiste, Jr.
David Russell Batiste, Jr. started playing drums at the age of four and began playing in the family's band when he was only seven. After a two year stay with Charmaine Neville's band, Russell joined The Meters band (Funky Meters) in 1989 as a replacement for Zigaboo Modeliste.
Russell has performed with a wide range of musicians and bands including George Porter, Jr. and Brian Stoltz (Porter Batiste Stoltz); Joe Krown and guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington (Krown Washington Batiste trio); this unit released a live CD Live at the Maple Leaf in 2008. He has also performed with Papa Grows Funk, Vida Blue, Harry Connick Jr., Champion Jack Dupree, Robbie Robertson and Maceo Parker. In 1987 Batiste was in the New Orleans funk band Nuclear Rhythms featuring percussionist songwriter Rosie Rosato, psychedelic funk guitarist songwriter Dirk Billie and bassist songwriter Mark Adam Miller. As a solo artist, he leads his own band Russell Batiste Jr. and the Orkestra from 'Da Hood and has released two albums under the name.
Batiste credits many New Orleans funk drummers for inspiration, but most of all Stanley Ratcliff and Zigaboo Modeliste.
The Vida Blue album (Elektra 2002) with Phish's Page McConnell and The Allman Brothers' Oteil Burbridge, shows Batiste to be a master of texture and changing gears. "Anybody can solo," he says. "Anybody can sit behind the drums and go nuts. Anybody can play riffs on the bass, and anybody can play songs on the piano. But playing music is when two or more people get together from out of nowhere and turn it into something."
Damon Batiste
Damon Batiste
Damon J. Batiste is the President & Cultural Ambassador of the New Orleans South African Connection. Mr. Batiste has traveled to Africa over 82 times since his first trip to South Arica in 1998 to include a visit in December 2021 just as the new COVID-19 variant emerged in South Africa. The beginning of his African visits resulted in a solid cultural music exchange between New Orleans & South Africa. This Connection has seen the likes of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masakela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jimmy Dludlu, Selealo Seloto, Prince Kupi, Musi Manzini & Miss South Africa and more return to the Birth Place of Jazz New Orleans, Louisiana.
Damon went to St. Stephens Elementary School and St. Augustine High School, then attended Southern University of New Orleans and the University of Southwest Louisiana. Damon has been a part of the Batiste Brothers Band since 1978. "When my father left the Meters and return to play with his brothers with the Batiste Brothers Band, Damon and his brother Russell also became part of the family band. "I think Russell was fifteen years old at the time, and I was thirteen" said Damon.
In 1994, Damon Batiste maintained his own production company; Thumbs Up Productions, where he served as CEO. He has been involved in events such as "McMania" a high school music extravaganza held at McMain High School, to large productions like the 1997 Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C., and Batiste's 1997 performance in the HBO Sinbad Soul Music In Aruba Festival, which included musicians George Clinton & P-Funk Allstars. Among Mr. Batiste's other accomplishments is his involvement in the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, he has assisted the festival in Public Relations, booking venues, organizing budgets, and generating contracts for artists. In addition, Batiste has served as Production Coordinator for the Essence Music Festival since 1996 & Sponsorship Director for the International Arts Festival over the past 2 years. Damon Batiste has, over the years, assisted in celebrating music cultures from all parts of the world.
In 1998, Batiste was bestowed with the honor of being named President & Cultural Ambassador to the New Orleans South Africa Connection (NOSACONN). In this capacity, Batiste produces festival activities related to cultural exchange to establish economic development related to trade, music, art, & tourism from both the USA & South Africa. In 2004, NOSACONN sponsored over 150 South African artists, highlighting South Africa, at the 2004 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Damon also prepared a mission statement for South Africa, at the end of Apartheid, which he believes resulted in South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup. He's made numerous trips to South Africa, and was even able to attend Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday.
Damon Batiste's past community work includes having served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans MultiCultural Tourism Network and as Music Director for VoceroNews.com, the Leading Bilingual Newspaper in Louisiana and Mississippi. Batiste has been involved in the music business around the globe for over (20) years. In 1989, Mr. Batiste began producing, organizing, and entertaining attendees at over fifty music festivals. He has brought the necessary flavors of hip-hop, jazz, gospel, reggae, neo-soul, and salsa to thankful audiences worldwide.
Damon also played an instrumental role in the development of music venues along Frenchmen Street. For a while, he was even co-owner with his friend, Mardi Gras Indian Chief Shaka Zulu, in Ray's Boom Boom Room on Frenchmen Street. Damon and Shaka Zulu also played in a band together at that time, called Damon Batiste and the New Orleans All Stars.
Damon performed with other prominent New Orleans bands as well. He recorded a live funk song with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, featuring the djembe drum.
But Damon has committed his adult life to preserving and growing New Orleans culture and music through a variety of programs and ventures. His accomplishments are both numerous and admirable. A NOSACONN delegation, including Damon, his father David, his brothers - Jamal, Russell and Ryan, along with musicians Donald Harrison, Jason Neville and Cyril Neville, as well as Chief Shaka Zulu performed at the Alunay All Blues Festival, just outside of Paris in 2012. However his crowning achievement was perhaps his role as co-founder of the Batiste Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak Elementary School.
Today, Damon serves as Director to #B Kids with Metairie Sunrise Rotary Club and Leads Music Appreciation and Cultural Enrichment in State Largest School District of Jefferson Parish. Mr. Batiste also created the Jazz Cruises for the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen and has just completed the 1st South Africa Grammy Party at Zebula with Virtual Nation Builders. 
Jamal Batiste - Rocked_Up
Jamal Batiste
Drummer Jamal Batiste is one of many musical seeds of New Orleans's own Batiste Family. The son of David Batiste, Sr. and Jackie Shedrick was born on June 18, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a producer and an exceptionally talented drummer, who has been playing drums since the age of three. Jamal earned his specialized B.A. degree in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans.
Jamal has performed in the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival since the age of five. He performed with the Batiste Brothers Band and had his own show in the Kid's tent, Congo Square stage, and the Acura Stage. He's toured in Africa, Europe, Asia, and USA with international bands such as Los Hombres Calientes, Jon Cleary, The Wild Magnolias, and a host of others.
Jamal's rhythmical tone is a Gumbo of Funk, R&B, Latin, Gospel, Second Line, Rock, Hip Hop, Classical, and Jazz that has inspired and mesmerized his fans and supporters of all ages. For his first project, Jamal recorded and executive produced his father's first rhythm & blues solo album, "New Orleans Is Coming Back" by David Batiste & the Gladiators. For his follow-up projects he produced "The Unorthodox Drummer: The First Assemblage" and "T.U.D. Just Jamal" that's in stores and online (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, etc.). He has shared the stage with international artists such as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Doug E. Fresh, Drake, Jill Scott, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, Bonnie Raitt, Yolanda Adams, and many more. He recently made his debut appearance in the James Brown movie Get On Up, playing as James Brown's long-time drummer John "Jabo" Starks, and a debut performance at the NAMM Show in California with his band. He's currently performing and recording with rapper Dee-1, Bill Summers, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, Trombone Shorty, and his fire, explosive band, Jamal Batiste Band.
Jamal has Performed & Recorded with: Jon Batiste (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), Aloe Blacc, Dee-1, Trombone Shorty, Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett (Michael Jackson), Bill Dickens (Janet Jackson), D'Wayne Wiggins of Toni Tony Toné, Bill Summers (Herbie Hancock), Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Art Neville (The Meters), George Porter (The Meters), Jon Cleary, and Christian Scott.
For two years, Jamal held the position of Assistant Band Director at The Batiste Cultural Arts Academy and is serving as the Minister of Music at Hill of Zion Baptist Church in Metairie, LA. More recently, Jamal has brought his talent and expertise to a host of projects; including The Batiste Family endeavor Fathers and Sons of the New Millennium, and a sold-out show at the Aulnay All Blues Festival in France.
Media on both a local and national level has featured Jamal and his work. CNN, CBS Nightly News, USA Today, Ebony, WGNO's News with a Twist, The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, Offbeat, and Gambit are just a few outlets where Jamal has recently appeared. Jamal played snare drum in Ne-Yo's video "Never Knew I Needed" from Disney's Princess and the Frog, and gave a talk at the 2014 Cutting Edge Music Conference about the audition process for his role in Get On Up.
Jamal has toured on an international scale, playing in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe. He has shared the stage with luminaries such as Bonnie Raitt, Jill Scott, Public Enemy, Drake, Trombone Shorty, Dee-1, Irma Thomas, Burnell Worrell of George Clinton & P-Funk, among many others.
Ryan Batiste
Ryan Batiste
At the age of 4, Ryan Batiste began playing the drum. His parents noticed his musical abilities even before then, and for him music took precedence over playing outside with friends and sports. The 2002 Modern Drummer magazine dubbed Ryan as a "future grove master" at the tender age of nine.

That love of music would take Ryan to the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp and eventually a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCAA). "As I continued to expand my knowledge of music and the music business I formed a hip-hop group called Raw Revolution in high school my senior year. I had a few friends that I hung out with often and some of them played instruments while others rapped....
There are several success stories in the Batiste family.
Recently, my cousin Jon Batiste was chosen to be the band director of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. When I received the news I was extremely excited and happy for him. It was amazing because that's my first cousin and I used to see him all the time, but NOW he's in New York with the top cats!
I don't get a chance to talk to him as much as I'd like to, which is a good and a bad thing. It's bad because of course that's my family and I don't have the opportunity to see him or bounce ideas. I'd love to talk to him and hear how he is embracing the music scene in New York, especially with his new job venture and all the rigor and fun associated with it. However, it's a good thing because he's busy working and doing incredible things as he lives his dream. Destiny is what happens when faith, preparation, and opportunity meet...
As is the story of the Oak tree, it begins from an acorn and ends with strong roots and mighty branches offering benefits to others in various forms. Everything happens in time and good things are worth the wait. At this point in my life I am just playing the waiting game. I believe I will be successful; it's just a matter of when an opportunity presents itself. Until then, I continue practicing, playing, and pursuing" adds Ryan.
Ryan Batiste graduates this May from Dillard University New Orleans with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Industry and a minor in Marketing. Ryan also plays the piano.
Christopher Prosper Batiste
Christopher Prosper Batiste is the son of Russell Batiste.
“We have delivered West and South Africa as part of a continued mission after over 23 years since NOSACONN was established in 1998,” said Damon Batiste, Economic, Cultural & Tourism Ambassador, Founder of NOSACONN. “The work and commitment speak for themselves. Join us as we continue to lead a BIPOC example of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We can expand together.” 
Most recently Batiste's African travels resulted in the film 'Le Ticket a Tout Prix' from the Ivory Coast being screened at the recent Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and also at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where the NOSACONN African Heritage Series was launched with an NAACP hosted fundraiser for a student exchange program between Ivory Coast and Nicholls State University.
The Ivory Coast cultural and tourism delegation of Mr. Dramane Coulibaly, the CEO of the lottery company of Cote d’Ivoire, LONACI; Alain Guikou, director and producer of the movie “The Ticket at Any Cost;” Alfred Zebi, partner in Sol Prodd Consulting; Fate Toure, actress, co-producer of “Le Ticket a Tout Prix” and top model and Necy N’Dri, actress and TV host for a cooking show, not only enjoyed the Saturday’s fundraiser but were also guests Tuesday evening at a special reception at Nicholls State’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute with Nicholls State President Dr. Jay Clune and Louisiana State Lieutenant Governor Billy Nunguesser in attendance. The culmination of the Ivory Coast cultural exchange began as Dr. Vivian Ray, with over 30 years as a chef and educator, a member of the staff at the culinary institute served as Cultural Ambassador for NOSACONN in Senegal and the Ivory Coast during March, Women’s History Month. Her trip featured by LyfePulse New Orleans can be seen on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb-oIDrb3Mw.
From the stages of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the world stage, “NOLA’s Royal Family of Music” celebrates the joie de vivre while making music and making a difference.
The 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell kicked off April 29 and runs through May 8, 2022.

NOLA’s Royal Family of Music salutes fellow musicians in this year’s festival including: The Who, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Buffett, Luke Combs, The Black Crowes, Willie Nelson and Erykah Badu; The Avett Brothers, Norah Jones, Lauren Daigle, Ludacris, Billy Strings, Nelly, Jason Isbell, and The 400 Unit, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Death Cab for Cutie, Ziggy Marley: Songs of Bob Marley, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Revivalists, Lukas Nelson & POTR, Randy Newman, Melissa Etheridge, Boz Scaggs and Irma Thomas and other great talents. The musical performances showcase various genres including blues; gospel; traditional and contemporary jazz; Cajun; zydeco; Mardi Gras Indians; brass bands; and social aid and pleasure clubs.
Started in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to showcase the most important names in music history alongside many of Louisiana's favorite entertainers. Tickets are available at www.nojazzfest.com
NOSACONN Media Contact:
Jackie Wright,
Wright Enterprises San Francisco ~ Dallas
415 525 0410
May 5th Proclaimed Edward "Kidd" Jordan Day in New Orleans by the City Council
Edward Kidd Jordan_photo_credit_JR_Thomason
“Kidd Jordan was recognized as a jazz maverick back in the 1940s intent on exploring jazz rooted music's outer reaches. In recognition of his great 
musical achievements, knighthood was bestowed on him by the Republic of France where he holds the title Chevalier des Artes et Lettres.”
(Image: Sir Edward "Kidd" Jordan: Photo credit, JR Thomason)
Compiled by Vincent Sylvain, New Orleans Agenda
NEW ORLEANS (5/4/2022) - Tomorrow, at the request of Oliver M. Thomas, Councilmember District E, the City of New Orleans is scheduled to proclaim Thursday, May 5, 2022 "Edward "Kidd" Jordan Day in the City of New Orleans." The City Council is recognizing Mr. Jordan for his commitment to the music education programs he developed at Southern University at New Orleans as well as for the numerous famous musicians, including his children whom he has trained during his lifetime. This honor is being bestowed on Mr. Jordan on his 87th birthday.
The legendary saxophonist Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan is acclaimed internationally as one of the true master improvisers still performing today. Indie Jazz aptly describes Kidd Jordan as a “genteel man” who is probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world. Jordan was recognized as a jazz maverick back in the 1940s intent on exploring jazz rooted music's outer reaches.
This virtuoso unselfishly shared his gift of and passion for music for more than 50 years, 34 of which he spent at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) until he retired in 2006 as head of the jazz studies program.
Two years ago, in honor of his 85th birthday, Kidd released his latest album titled “Last Trane to New Orleans” which showcases Kidd Jordan’s Avant-garde style and expresses his life experiences.
Acclaimed bassist William Parker proclaims, “This album captures the history and mystery of New Orleans, it has everything from the church to the gumbo”!
Jordan states, “I play off the surroundings. I play off of people. When I go on a gig, I go with an open mind. I react to music.” The “Last Trane to New Orleans” is a culmination of Kidd Jordan’s body of work – expressed both in his approach to spontaneous composition and the impact of his example on the next generation of improvisers.
The album features Marlon Jordan on trumpet, Edwin Bayard on tenor saxophone, Darrell Lavigne on piano, and Mark Lomax II on drums. The album was produced by Kidd’s daughter Rachel Jordan, and engineered by grandson Paul Sims.
During his lifetime, Jordan has performed on tenor, baritone, soprano, alto, C-melody and sopranino saxophones, as well as contrabass and bass clarinets. He has performed and recorded with a broad array of musicians in styles ranging from R&B to avant-garde jazz, including Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Gladys Knight, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, R.E.M., Art Neville, Aaron Neville, Johnny Adams, Deacon John, Ellis Marsalis, Cannonball Adderley, Alvin Batiste, Archie Shepp, Dewey Redmond, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Sun RA, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Alan Silva, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor, among others. He was a member of two prominent New Orleans Big Bands: William Houston, and Herb Tassin.
The Improvisation Arts Quintet, a group he founded in 1975 with drummer Alvin Fielder, bassist London Branch, trumpeter Clyde Kerr, and saxophonist Alvin Thomas which later included, pianist Darrel Lavigne, pianist Joel Futterman, bassist Elton Heron, flutist Kent Jordan, and trumpeter Marlon Jordan has "recorded a remarkable catalogue of free-flowing instinctive interactive avant-garde music in which collective passages of sounds are more than personal freedom, but an evolution of complimentary imagery moving together and apart, each artist becoming an ear, an eye and most of all a heart for the sake of the creative spiritual soul."
Citing him as a visionary educator and performer, the French Government recognized Jordan in 1985 as a Knight (Chevalier) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, their nation’s highest honor.
In May of 2017 Jordan received an honorary doctor of music degree from Loyola University New Orleans ─ a distinction reserved at Loyola for eminent individuals whose lives of achievement and service exemplify the philosophy of Jesuit education.
For the past three decades, Jordan has had a highly productive and close relationship with drummer Alvin Fielder (deceased) and bassist William Parker. Jordan developed a close musical relationship with innovative pianist Joel Futterman back in the early 90's and they continue to perform and record together. Jordan's first recording was titled, "No Compromise" and that very accurately expresses his personal conviction about his music.
A New Orleans resident, Jordan was born in Crowley, Louisiana on May 5, 1935 where he grew up listening to Zydeco and Blues. It was there that he learned to play saxophone from his music teachers; Warren Milson and Joseph Oger, a French-Canadian. After hearing Charlie Parker and Lester Young, he became interested in the art of jazz improvisation.
His growth as a musician later continued at Ross High School in Crowley where he encountered Southern University alums Emmett Jacobs and William Byrd. When Mr. Jordan landed in Baton Rouge from 1952 to 1955 he advanced his music studies under Souther


Related Articles · More Articles
Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises San Francisco~Dallas~~~
Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises CommUNITY Spotlight San Francisco~Dallas
Back To Archives